Saturday, June 4, 2011
I've been working at a TAP school for the past year...once I figured out there was no tap-dancing involved, I learned that it means we spend a lot of time on school reform and on teacher improvement, from learning new methods, practicing old methods, and honing our personal skills so that we are more effective as teachers. We were asked to write a Christmas letter to ourselves, as if we were giving ourselves a gift, and this is what I wrote. I read the letter again as the year ended...because the year ended so unlike I thought it would. Not only did the year end, but my job ended as well, and I've started a new position managing 5 libraries. Most teachers are so hard on themselves, and I admit I am in that same bunch. I don't celebrate my success enough, and think too much of what I shoulda/woulda/coulda. I wish I could remember to remember to remember what I have to say to me:
You have been through a lot my friend---there have been so many changes in your life and I have watched you as you've tried to embrace them, handle them, welcome them--but I know it's been scary. A new school- how exciting! But those old childhood doubts and fears creep in--will you fit in? will they like you? will you be happy about your choices? Have faith, friend...you have a good head and a loving heart, and the world is better because of you.
As you go into this fall, think about communicating your love of reading to your students--because it's through the knowledge and wisdom of literature that we can find our way. Share that. Our kids lack a roadmap--they don't see their future or their hope, so share the way with them. Also, I hope you'll reach out to connect---create relationships. Don't be so shy. You are a cool person, and hiding your "cool" side doesn't serve anyone. Remember that Sunday school song about hiding your light under a bushel? Let it shine.
Okay, I do wish you joy, peace, and all good things. Your deserve them.